Sultan Sufyan is the black sheep in the Sultan Series.
Don’t expect an airy, ethereal profile. The scent throws you into a stunning olfactory canyon right in the heart of New Guinea. To bathe in hot springs emitting the most pristine incense vapor, as if they’re bubbling up the very scent of the jungle. And, forget it, there’s zero fruit here – nothing but unabashed oudiness! And wait till you see the ritual-like incense-heating scent progression…
You can Kodo the daylights out of an oud chip for hours on end, or you can fry it on a scorching coal and be done in a minute. But an untrained nose has trouble picking up the subtleties of low temp heating, while a trained nose hates to waste all the intricate notes that get incinerated at high temp. The beauty of Sultan Sufyan is the sheer spectrum of incence-y oudiness that wafts at you in waves.
The top notes are pure low temp tenderness. Pristine, blue-green kinamic notes right on par with Sultan Abdül Hamit. Then, as if you’re turning the dial of the heater up a notch, oh so gradually, the oudiness begins to intensify. The chip starts to bubble, there’s a flush of resin oozing its way out until the smoke clouds the whole room. Then, that rush you get when you smell the sticky raw resin stuck to your mica plate. It doesn’t smell like the unheated chip, nor the vapor. More like a silhouette of aloelicious essence. That’s Sufyan’s dry down right there.
But more than taking you from low temp through high, down to the post-burn residue, you’ve got an oud oil that gives you even more. Notes that heated agarwood never can. A sensualness, a mystique, a microscopic zoom into crevices of the oud aroma you’d never get to indulge in otherwise.
Sultan Sufyan captures the Papuan jungle as daytime turns dark. Crickets chirp and beetles rattle as they never would sun out. Your feet sink into the luscious soil as the sheer immediacy of the jungle air smacks your cheeks, your lips, your nose, the back of your neck with a feeling of naked adventure. You've got the same quality raw materials that went into crafting Sultan Osman, cooked in the same steel pot – but that’s where the similarities end…
This is the last New Guinea cooking in the Sultan Series, collected and cured mid 2015. And it is the most unconventional. This fragrance adds to your collection an oud that is bold and beautiful, an infatuated incense lover’s dream come true, with so much earthy soul even a Maroke ouddict won’t want to put the dipstick back.
Wow, this is another oud that was not what I was expecting! I read the description and figured that this might be a very challenging sort of oud – something that takes many wears to come to enjoy. Not the case! I find instead an extraordinarily rich, sweet, and easily enjoyed oud, with ‘floral/fruit’ notes that are bodacious and quite magnificent. People will disagree on whether these notes I speak of are indeed fruity or floral or just oudy – one of the hardest questions to answer is “what exactly is the ‘oudy’ smell?” In reality, all oud smells like oud because all oud is oud – and all scents arising from oud are oudy scents. Sometimes, though, the oudy scent smells so much like fruit or florals or hay that we call those notes that – and there are other notes that smell unlike other scents we know – these are the notes I personally think of as the ‘oudy’ notes (when I smell the aroma coming off my entire oud collection where it is stored, this is the ‘oudy’ smell for me)… In the case of Sultan Sufyan the scent touches on aspects of the oud smell spectrum that are hard to describe – others have used the terms ‘alien’ and ‘parallel universe,’ and I concur with these others, that although there is a resemblance to a sort of dark fruit type quality, it is radically transmuted into something that doesn’t quite fit any description of other known scents… Quite remarkable, and highly enjoyable… – Josh, USA
For me the best smelling oud was the Sultan Sufyan.… Coming from an incense user background this smelled exactly like Seijudo Enju longlife incense sticks… To me it was always most enjoyable the first seconds of burning and now I get to smell that green Kyara scent for hours! It also has the most soothing effect on the mind. – Quinton, Netherlands
I just tried Sultan Sufyan from EO. This is some big dark stuff. This IS the smell of burning agarwood chips. No jammy notes, no fruity smell. Just the vapor of burning wood. Looks like it is going to have some staying power! I wonder how some years of maturing will affect this oil. It is a monster right now! The best analogy is like a young Bordeaux cabernet that benefits from some cellaring. You can enjoy it now but only gets better with age. – kesiro, USA
My first thought was one of bewilderment. The oil has a particular familiarity while being an entirely new, exotic and unique experience. The notes are similar but so distant from the notes in oils from India, Cambodia, Thailand, Bhutan, Borneo, Malaysia, etc. It’s as if this oil resides in a parallel universe, something extraterrestrial; there is a mild sweetness, medicinal and purplish blue-grey, I want to say fruity but it doesn’t smell like any earthly fruit. The incense to me it is not vapory or kinamic, but rather a heavy and dense high grade medicinal resin extract.
The fruits – Imagine having a plum grown in the jungles of the movie Avatar. A plum turned inside out, where the hard shell of the pit is on outside and one has to crack that shell to get to the moist flesh. That would be an approximation of the fruit note in Sultan Sufyan, truly otherworldly, bizarre and surreal. It’s quite cartoonish, a caricature, nothing else like it on the typical Middle Eastern oud market, an anomaly but all oud. A glimpse into the mind of a mad scientist. Beautiful. – PEARL, USA
It is flat out nice. I like PEARL’s very futuristic description, and I can follow exactly what he is talking about with the inverted alien plum theory. It’s cool. For me it also starts super woody, a nice, beautiful woodiness. Then that blue-green resinated oudiness creeps in and it’s really nice and has a good bit of that nose-tingling medicinality I’m so fond of. Another winner by Ensar and another one I will add to my ‘to get’ list. – bhanny, USA
There are many oils that people claim smell just like heated agarwood. I’ve never smelled heated agarwood so have had to imagine its aroma, or invert the comparison: “XYZ oil supposedly captures the scent of heated agarwood, so I guess heated agarwood smells like XYZ oil.” Yet I’ve never been confident drawing that inference from any oil. Until I smelled Sultan Sufyan. I love how Sufyan’s lovely opening, which varies from a quiet green succulent floral to pristine raw incense, bursts into a dense resinous oudiness so complex that it seems to embody warm wood and all the elements it contains, not just the extracted oil. It first struck me as Malaysian. But Sufyan is clean and not earthy, and above the density plays a hovering melody of some very delicate notes, well-reflecting Suyan’s actual Sumatran and New Guinean origins. In sum, Sultan Sufyan is akin to a musical composition in that its complex bass oudiness and intricate treble delicacy sound in harmony. I may never heat agarwood chips, but I suspect experiencing Sultan Sufyan is similarly transporting. I see why the Sultan Series is considered a higher level of oud distillation. – Jen, USA
I am greeted instantly with an ethereal sweetness by sugar sprinkled flowers pushed by sharp rays of wood vapor. Vanillic berries appear, but I’m still in the clouds wondering if I’ll ever touch ground. After a few minutes I’m getting oudy resin but the top notes still persist. Then there’s a hint of pepper, followed by a Kinamic drydown. This Oud keeps you soaring high for most of the ride. – Curt, USA